Faculty Professional Leave Guidelines

(updated Nov 2021)

To maintain a vibrant community of world-class researchers and instructors, we strive to support faculty in their continued scholarly development. The Odum School of Ecology’s professional leave for faculty is a mechanism to enhance creative energy and to provide opportunities for obtaining new innovative knowledge and skills. The faculty of Ecology should use this policy to maximize and maintain their enthusiasm and access to leading-edge approaches and ideas as they strive to be outstanding contributors in their respective fields.

Requests for leave with pay should be made only for faculty that have been employed in their current positions for at least three (3) years, consistent with UGA’s record of granting leave. Leave requests can be made up to once every five (5) years, for either one semester or a full academic year. The Dean should be formally notified at least 12 months prior to the start date of requested leave, to allow for arrangements for coverage of courses and responsibilities, and to meet the university’s official paperwork requirements. We encourage faculty to notify the Dean via informal mechanisms farther than 12 months in advance if possible.

Request for Faculty Professional Leave

  1. Requests are to be addressed to the Dean and shall be for one year or less and can be granted with or without pay. Extensions of such leaves, or the initial granting of leaves of more than one year, require the approval of the Chancellor or his/her designee.
  2. Request for a leave of absence beginning fall semester must be submitted to the Dean by no later than Sept 1 of the prior year. Request for a leave of absence beginning spring semester must be submitted to the Dean no later than February 1 of the prior year
  3. Form A – University of Georgia Faculty Leave of Absence Request is to be completed by the requesting faculty member and forwarded to the Dean for approval, along with a written request (max 1 page) that shall include:  (i) leave of absence dates requested,  (ii) the semesters that will be affected, (iii) the hosting institution or location of the applicant during the leave, (iv) the proposed activities during the leave (up to 200 words) including the project on which the faculty proposes to work, (v) courses, graduate students and other personnel that will be impacted by the faculty member’s leave, and (vi) a proposed plan for covering those responsibilities in the faculty’s absence.
  4. Decisions from the Dean will be based on the granting of previous leave requests, the timing of leave requests from other faculty, the quality of the proposed activities and anticipated benefits to the faculty member, and the extent to which the applicant has been actively engaged in research, teaching and service for the Odum School of Ecology.
  5. All information required by the UGA Faculty Leave of Absence policy is outlined at https://provost.uga.edu/faculty-affairs/faculty-leave-request-procedures-and-forms/

Other relevant information

  1. All benefits available to faculty under normal service will be available during professional leave unless otherwise specified.
  2. The combined professional leave pay and any additional salary must not exceed the recipient’s regular salary.
  3. When a recipient proposes to receive salary from service on a professional leave by an institution other than UGA the details of the proposed relationship must be approved.
  4. Faculty awarded professional leave must sign an agreement with the University of Georgia that states:
    1. For a leave of absence with pay of less than one year, the employee will return to the institution at the termination of the leave for a period of at least one (1) year;
    2. For a one-year leave of absence with pay, the employee will return to the institution at the termination of the leave for a period of at least two (2) years;
    3. For a leave of absence with pay, if the employee does not return to the institution for the full amount of time specified in the agreement, the employee will return the full amount of compensation received from the institution and any other expenses paid by the institution while on leave, including benefits costs. The employee must certify that this leave is for a visiting/temporary position. 
    4. For a leave of absence without pay, if the employee does not return to the institution, the employee will return the full amount of any expenses paid by the institution, including benefits costs, while on leave.  The employee must certify that this leave is for a visiting/temporary position. 

Note: For current UGA policy on professional leave, see https://provost.uga.edu/faculty-affairs/faculty-leave-request-procedures-and-forms/